The president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, has urged the Congress to cancel the $10,000 of student loan debt immediately.
“Immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans. They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent. It should be done immediately,” he said.
The issue has been addressed to the Congress as it has the authority to decide the federal spending, including the student loans and student loan cancellation, Erudera College News reports.
He did not say if he will be using an executive order to cancel the student loans. Nevertheless, a Biden’s spokesperson told Fox News that Biden has called on Congress to cancel the student loan debt, which means that Biden does not focus on the proposal of Senate Democrats to cancel the student loan debts through an executive order.
His strategy on cancelling student loans aims to contribute to a more affordable education in the country. Moreover, Biden’s plan includes tuition-free colleges, student loan cancellation at public colleges and universities, student loan cancellation and a revamped Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in order to manage that more borrowers benefit from student loan forgiveness.
Biden adopted the plan incorporated in the HEROES Act passed in May, which is the $3 trillion incentive plan proposed by the House Democrats.
Yet, Biden’s plan appears to be smaller compared to other previously proposed plans on cancelling student loans, in particular $30,000 of student loan forgiveness proposed by House Democrats, and Bernie Sanders’ plan to cancel $1.6 trillion of student loans.
Regarding the debt cancellation, Jason Furman who served as former President Barack Obama’s chief economist, and was reported to potentially be in the same role at Biden’s administration as well, has questioned the debt cancellation idea.
On Wednesday, a coalition of 236 progressive groups, including allies such as the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association urged Biden to cancel the student debt on his first days at the office.
In the letter sent to Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the group did not define the amount of debt they are asking to be cancelled but stated that during the campaign Biden has promised to cancel each borrowers’ debt of $10,000, as a pandemic relief.
“Before the COVID-19 public health crisis began, student debt was already a drag on the national economy, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, as well as women. That weight is likely to be exponentially magnified given the disproportionate toll that COVID-19 is taking on both the health and economic security of people of colour and women,” the groups said.
Data published by the US Department of Education shows that federal student loan debt in the United States has exceeded the amount of $1.54 trillion.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders included student debt cancellation in their election campaigns. Once becoming the Democratic nominee, Biden has supported the proposal.